Queen’s University was established on October 16, 1841 by a royal charter issued by Queen Victoria. Its founders modelled the new college on the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Queen’s, like them, was given a governing structure built around a Board of Trustees, a Principal, and a Senate. Classes began on March 7 1842, when 'Queen’s College at Kingston' opened in a small wood-frame house on the edge of the city with two professors and 13 students.
For its first 11 years the school had no home. It moved from house to house in Kingston, finally settling in Summerhill, a spacious limestone residence which still stands at the heart of the main campus. Financial support came at first from the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, the Canadian government, and private citizens. But this support was meagre and barely kept the college afloat. In 1867 and 1868 the college faced ruin when the government withdrew its funding and a commercial bank collapsed, a disaster which cost Queen’s two-thirds of its endowment. Principal William Snodgrass and other dedicated officials narrowly rescued the college with a desperate fundraising campaign across Canada.
In January 2010, Principal Woolf released a vision document to launch the University's academic planning process. The document raises a number of issues for discussion, framed within the major question that forms its title, 'Where Next?'. The academic plan, incorporating ideas and input from the university community, will be finalized by the end of the year, and will drive all University decision-making.
Queen’s University Library inspires learning, sparks creativity and builds community. Entering our libraries – virtual and physical – our students and faculty feel the world at their fingertips, the knowledge of the ages and the potential of the future. This community of learning and research, this library, is the keystone of our balanced academy where people engage deeply with each other to ask critical questions and build new ideas.